Naparima College is seven games, or maybe eight due to postponed matches, away from successfully defending its Premier Division title in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL).
The southerners have given a strong display for the season so far, with just four dropped points from two drawn encounters, preventing an otherwise perfect record of 24 points from eight matches. But on Wednesday, the reigning champion team will face St Anthony's College, which is probably the team's toughest opponent in the League, and a team that sits three points behind them, in second on the standings with 17 points from seven games.
The match is set to be the feature game on the day's seven-match programme from 3:30 pm at 'the Tigers' West moorings ground, with coaches, Angus Eve (Naps) and Ronald Daniel (St Anthony's) have already said they will respect each other this afternoon.
However, there is unlikely to be any change in strategies, as both have agreed to play their own game, and allow the other to adjust.
Both teams have shown explosive power in attack and sturdiness in defence, and it could be a matter of what is put out by both teams that will lead to a satisfactory result for either side.
Eve, the Naps coach told Guardian Media Sports that his team has been quietly going about its business this season. He believes his team has been the target of many teams, but they will take every game a step at a time. "Teams increase their intensity when they play Naparima, but they move on to underperform and get four goals from other teams. We are one of three unbeaten teams in the tournament to date and our mindset is that we will play one game at a time."
Eve said, having seen the Tigers play he knows it will be a tough match for his team, as their opponents possess a solid defence and a powerful attacking force that's backed by the good coaching staff. "They have a good team."
However, Eve, a former national player, now turned coach, said he has confidence in their style of play and will not change it for any team, because he believes the team should instead change for them.
Daniel, the Tigers' coach who is known popularly as 'Hustler' said he will be treating this game and every other game as a final. "I am not going to make any adjustments for Naparima. We will be going out to play our style of football. Let them change their game if they want."
Hustler noted, "What our players put out, will lead to the result."
Also expected to be a bumper contest today is the clash between seventh-place Queen's Royal College (QRC) and ninth-place Trinity College East at Arouca, while third Presentation College, San Fernando will host St Augustine Secondary at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.
The Green Machine of St Augustine will be coming off their first victory of the season, a more-than-convincing 5-1 rout of Malick last week at their Sty Augustine home and coach Trevor Spicer will be keen to continue their winning start.
Carapichaima Secondary which is also one of the three unbeaten teams in the league will fancy their chances today against Speyside at Speyside, while at Fatima ground, fifth-place East Mucurapo will take on Pleasantville Secondary, who moved to sixth on the table after their 4-1 triumph over Malick at the weekend. All matches begin at 3:30 pm.
Speyside vs Carapichaima @Speyside
St Anthony's vs Naparima @ St Anthony's
Trinity East vs QRC @Trinity East
Presentation vs St Augustine @Mannie Ramjohn Stadium
Malick vs St Benedict's @ Ato Boldon Stadium
San Juan North vs St Mary's @ San Juan
East Mucurapo vs Pleasantville Sec @Fatima
2*St. Anthony’s College*7*5*2*0*22*7*+15*17
5*East Mucurapo Secondary*7*3*3*1*14*8*+6*12
7*Queen’s Royal College*7*3*1*3*10*16*-6*10
9*Trinity College East*7*2*2*3*12*11*1*8
10*Speyside High School*7*2*2*3*9*19*-10*8
11*San Juan North Secondary*7*2*1*4*12*7*+5*7
12*St. Augustine Secondary*7*1*4*2*14*13*1*7
13*St. Benedict’s College*7*2*0*5*7*15*-8*6
14*St. Mary’s College*8*1*1*6*5*20*-15*4
15*Trinity College, Moka*8*1*1*6*8*27*-19*4